7 surprising benefits of contract work in Singapore

By Robert Half on 26 October 2020
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

Full-time employment has been the norm for so long that many professionals associate contracting with risk, uncertainty, financial insecurity, job hopping, starting over – the list goes on.

But how many of these preconceptions are actually true?

Contracting can be extremely rewarding, both financially and professionally. Other benefits of contract work include diversity, flexibility, and increased earning potential. And then there’s the perks that come with being your own boss, such as more autonomy over your schedule and better work-life balance.

Also, contractors aren’t as rare as people think. With the rise of the gig economy, they’re becoming a crucial part of the workforce, particularly in Singapore.

  • According to research by Robert Half, 92% of Singaporean CFOs would permanently hire an employee who has been continuously working in contract roles.
  • 53% of Singaporean CIOs frequently hire experienced interim IT employees/contractors to implement digital transformation initiatives.
  • 20-30% of the working age population currently engage in some form of independent work, according to a survey by McKinsey Global Institute.
  • The Ernst & Young Contingent Workforce Study found that one in two of the employers surveyed have increased their use of contract workers over the last five years.

7 benefits of contract work in Singapore

It’s clear: contract work is a significant – and important – part of the workforce. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits.

1. Work for a diverse range of organisations

As a contractor, you’ll get exposure to a variety of organisations, industries and sectors, as well as different roles and responsibilities.

This diversity is intellectually rewarding, encourages continuous improvement, and keeps your skills fresh and relevant.

2. Enjoy increased flexibility and autonomy

Want to book a holiday that exceeds typical annual leave allocations? Like the idea of intense, project-specific work followed by a break? Don’t want to feel ‘locked in’ by a particular job or company?

If you’re desiring more flexibility and autonomy, contract work could be a good option. You’ll be in the driver’s seat of your career (and your schedule).

Related: How to advance your career in Singapore

3. Increase your earning potential

You can usually command a higher pay packet contracting than for a salaried position of the same level. And, as you become more experienced, you’ll be able to negotiate a higher hourly rate.

Over time, your earning potential will likely increase, and at a faster rate, especially if you line up back-to-back contracts or if your skills are in high demand.

4. Develop more resilience

Contracting is more than just a job – it also builds resilience and adaptability. In a world that’s changing rapidly thanks to ever-evolving technology, resilience is a sought-after and highly-transferable skill.

The more you flex your resilience muscle, the more you’ll be prepared for whatever the future holds. You’ll likely find it easier to move with industry changes, rather than against them, and you won’t have all your eggs in one basket.

5. See more of the world

As a contractor, it’s easier to make time for travel. If your skills are needed in a variety of cities and countries, then you could ‘follow the work’ around the world.

If your skills are country-specific, you might still be able to travel more. For example, you could negotiate remote working into your contract or plan breaks between each project that allow for more vacation time.

6. Trial a new job before you settle

Negotiating a temporary contract position is an ideal way to try out a new role before you make a long-term commitment.

While there’s no guarantee contract work will lead to permanent work, it’s always a possibility. If you make a great impression, it could put you in a strong position to negotiate a full-time role – either now or one day in the future.

Related: How to plan your career in Singapore

7. Appeal to more companies

The benefits of contract work go both ways – companies also have a lot to gain from hiring temporary workers, including cost savings (36% enjoy more control over staffing costs) and better resource management.

As a contractor, you’ll likely receive a higher hourly rate than a full-time worker, but you won’t require insurance, holiday pay, sick leave, equipment, office space or employee benefits, resulting in a significant saving for the company. Your flexibility and transience are assets, and they’ll appeal to many companies.

Finding contract work

The benefits of contract work are vast: from diversity and flexibility to increased earning potential and the opportunity to travel, there are plenty of reasons to consider making the switch from full-time work.

There are also many companies looking for motivated, talented individuals, so now is a good time to make the move. If you’d like to learn more about contract positions available or the benefits of contract work in general, contact us today.

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